Much like her influences Mike Leigh and Albert Brooks, writer-director Nicole Holofcener uses her own life experiences as sources of inspiration in her work. Holofcener studied film at NYU but when she attended the graduate program at Columbia University, she began to think of herself as a real (aspiring) filmmaker. There, she directed a few short films before developing her script for Walking and Talking (1996). The slice-of-life comedy/drama firmly established her autobiographical style and propelled her as one of independent film’s more talked about directors. She emerged from the Sundance Film Festival in 1996 with rave reviews for her feature debut.
Afterward, Holofcener ventured into many television directing gigs, before returning to independent features with her sophomore effort, the critically lauded Lovely & Amazing (2001). The film earned nominations at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards, including nods for Best Feature and Best Director. Holofcener continued to split her efforts between television and features, and was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for her film Please Give (2010). She wrote and directed the award-winning final film of actor James Gandolfini, Enough Said with Julia Louis Dreyfus in 2013, and earned a Writers Guild Award and Oscar nomination for co-writing Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018).